By Richard Harrison: Verb ~ a word used to describe an action, state, or occurrence.
Unity ~ the state of being united or joined as a whole.
In the before times, Belizean families were much more united….and why was this so, one might ask?
Because UNITY is a verb…..it is an action word.
Unity does not just happen….it is constructed.
Belizean mothers used to be home makers, mostly….satisfied with what the husband made in income for the family….and those who had a talent, and were of the mind and ambition….would produce something in the home to earn extra income. Such there were seamstresses, bakers, cooks, designers, planners, laundry, ironing, gardeners, hair dressers, tutors, etc, They insisted that the entire family were together around the dining table for “tea, dinner, tea”….that was how they referred to “breakfast, lunch and dinner”.
Today…Belizean families hardly do anything together on a continuously routine basis…they each go their way from in the morning…eat tacos or meat pies on the street side…and drink rum on weekends under the mango tree or by the riverside…each to his own.
The practice of doing things together is what constructs unity.
Practice implies continuous repetition…until the practice becomes habitual….some refer to this as “second nature”.
Have you ever seen a group of BDF soldiers running in the mornings? Have you seen a group of British soldiers doing the same thing?
The BDF looks all rag tag, with no uniform dress, usually worn and torn…..straggled out, some way up front, some in between, others at the back, others (usually overweight) walking….total disorder.
The British soldiers must get into orderly lines….they jog at the same brisk pace…in unison…the rise and fall of their feet almost like the pistons of one single machine…with a disciplined commander giving commands and ensuring that order is upheld.
Have you ever seen a parade of school children in Belize? How about a parade of school children in the USA or England?
The Belize school children parade usually starts off orderly….and as they proceed, they will move out of line…choosing to walk beside their closer friends…shirt fronts unbuttoned…shirts/blouses untucked….some even sagging…and in no time, there is disorder.
In the USA and England, and other places, the school children remain in order for the duration of the parade…uniforms are respected and properly worn throughout….order in maintained.
Have you seen Belizeans at the bus terminal trying to catch a bus? How about the same thing in USA or Canada?
The Belizeans will all try to push their way to the front, like a herd…crushing each other, with no care for the under-aged or elderly…”I need to get on the bus now, and that is all that matters”.
In the more developed countries, getting on a bus or train is much more orderly….and care is observed for children and the elderly, especially for those physically challenged.
The mental construct of orderliness is important to the building of unity.
Order is important not only for unity….but for peace…and many other important quality-of-life ingredients.
More advanced and civilized societies invest a lot in the construction of order….of unity….they know the value of it.
Much of this investment is not necessarily in hard currency….but in training of leaders….coordinators….event planners….choreographers…coaches…etc.
A lot of this begins in home training…from birth to 5-years old. A child is just like a tree….if left to grow haphazardly and bent out of shape from an early age…with a disorderly mind…it is hard to straighten them afterwards. A simple thing like allowing a child to wake up and go to bed without a routine, can set a child back so far as they grow older and cannot get to school or work on time.
The amount of people showing up late to work in Belize is a high economic and social cost…a significant contributor to our low level of productivity….just to give an example.
Belize needs to invest a lot more in the construct of order…if there is the ambition to be unified….because they know and appreciate the value of it…and have the need, want and desire to realize that value.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily those of Breaking Belize News.
This article was written by Richard Harrison, Belizean investor in production and services businesses in Belize. He holds a Masters in Business Administration degree from Lancaster University.
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